Overview of PS

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mature student having crisis of confidence

Hi Sunflower12,

The first thing I'd say is don't compare yourself unfavourably to the others. You are an experienced practitioner and you've been working hard on field work over the years. Everyone needs time during a PhD to adjust to the nature of research and the time hasn't been wasted.

That's great that you've got three chapters written. Once you start writing and revising, hopefully it will all start coming together.

For what it's worth, I felt like a total impostor all the way through and found it hard to keep faith with what I'd done when having to write up the results of my research. I think quite a lot of students feel that way.

It might be that your supervisor is preoccupied with her own research or with admin rather than uninterested in your work. Is it worth meeting up with her to come up with a plan for the next seven months?

Pre viva

Hi Pineapple,

Well done for submitting!
I felt that I had submitted a substandard thesis earlier this year. A week later, I started reading it to prepare a conference paper proposal, but had to abandon this as it was too upsetting to read the thesis! I didn't tell my supervisor about this reaction, but in any case she advised me to wait a few weeks before reading it through to prepare for the viva (I had 2.5 - 3 months, like you). When I dared to open it again a month or so later, it was possible to read it a lot more objectively and this helped with preparing to defend my research in a more positive way. The viva was fine. The examiners asked me to expand some very incomplete sections but I still passed with minor corrections.

No wonder you do not feel motivated to defend your thesis right this minute, but you must still be quite tired from the final push. You have a couple of months or so to build up your reserves again. Good luck


H.E. Politics

Has anyone read the Browne report?
It recommends the withdrawal of public funding for the teaching of all subjects, instead targetting the money only towards the priority areas of healthcare, STEM, or 'strategically important language courses'.

In what way does it safeguard the public interest to no longer publicly fund the teaching of arts, humanities or social sciences in our universities?

A database of PhD titles or abstracts - does such a thing exist?

Proquest has a dissertation abstracts database, you could see if your library subscribes to it.

How to economise

This is going to sound quite smug, but we stopped buying bread after my partner got a book called 'Dough' for Christmas. It shows you how to make bread quickly without using a breadmaker. It doesn't take too much time because you can allow the dough to rise overnight in the fridge. You can get yeast for free from some supermarket bakeries, and you can get a 1.5 kg bag of wholemeal flour for about £1. A third of that bag makes an 800g loaf costing 33p. If you like baking, it is a relaxing way to save money. Thanks for all the other tips. It's Aldi, the local butcher and the international grocers for me all the way now.

A question for medieval historians!

(Disclaimer - I'm not a medieval historian)
Yes, there will come a time when the source you need has not yet been translated. Also, the quality of existing translations/editions can vary, and you might well want to consult the manuscripts yourself.

With some Phd programmes you can do a module in Latin during the first year as part of research training - might be worth looking into as an alternative to taking time out beforehand to learn it?

Dad-friendly pubs in London?

My dad would recommend the George Inn off Borough High Street, near London Bridge (see http://www.pubs.com/pub_details.cfm?ID=187). It's old and serves Abbot Ale, if I recall correctly.

Final sprint? Anyone tried it?

I'm in a similar situation. In December I showed my supervisor an elaborate timetable I'd drawn up for finishing this September, but still feel like I'm in the middle of research rather than on the brink of writing up!

alone..yet want to be??

Melon, to write up and lecture at the same time must be extremely demanding. You deserve some time off and you shouldn't feel guilty about winding down by watching TV. But don't listen to me, I'm a third year who isn't writing up yet. I also keep thinking I need to give up relationships, hobbies etc. in order to concentrate properly, but the thought of doing so makes me feel even worse. Every now and then I have bouts of 'house arrest' to try to catch up, end up wasting time on the internet, feeling guilty, staying up all night but still not getting anything done, and then too tired to do any thinking or writing the next day.
I hope the end of your PhD is in sight.

Straight to an MA or wait a while?

I spent a year temping after my first degree before starting an MA. This was for 3 reasons:
a) By the time I realised I wanted to do postgrad work I'd missed the funding deadline anyway.
b) It seemed like a good idea to save up in case I didn't get any funding at all when applying the following year
c) I was interested in two completely different courses and it took a long time to decide which one to go for.

Everyone writing now through the weekend - sign up!!!!!!!!

Hello, I will sign up as I have to finish a conference paper by Tuesday so my supervisor can take a look at it.

Good luck everyone.

York vs Nottingham

Oh, and if there happens to be a module advertised that you have set your heart on, check that the member of staff who teaches it will not be on sabbatical next year!

York vs Nottingham

Both York and Nottingham are centres of excellence for Medieval Studies, so I can see why it's a difficult decision to make.
-Check out the research interests of departmental staff. If you know what you will write your dissertation on, who could supervise you?
-Taught modules - which institution offers the most interesting and useful mix of courses? How much emphasis do you want on development of linguistic or technical skills (e.g. palaeography)?
-Which institution offers the best hope of funding?
Hope this is of some help, and congratulations on the offers!

What are you up to?

I am procrastinating about going to bed, even though I have to be up at 6. This is stupid.

am I crazy?

I have heard that you can only request books on ILL once, because of copyright restrictions...that might only apply at my university though, perhaps yours has a different policy.